Anti-regime forces attacked three junta targets in the central Sagaing Region townships of Kanbalu and Taze late last week, resulting in casualties on both sides, according to resistance sources.
On January 8, a police station in Sabei Nant Thar, a village in Kanbalau Township located on the Shwebo-Myitkyina road, was raided shortly after midnight.
Around 80 junta soldiers and members of the military-backed Pyu Saw Htee militia were inside the police station, according to an officer of the Kanbalu District chapter of the People’s Defence Force (PDF), which took part in the attack.
“We were able to get inside by cutting through barbed wire. We destroyed two of their bunkers and were also able to burn down a number of buildings,” he said, adding that the two sides clashed until around 5am.
Several PDF members were injured in the fighting, and an unspecified number of regime forces were killed, he added.
At around the same time, another attack was carried out on a Pyu Saw Htee camp in Sein Nar, a village in western Kanbalu Township. Fighting lasted about an hour, until the militia members fled the scene, according to a PDF member who took part in the assault.
At least two Pyu Saw Htee members were killed and two weapons—an MA-1 assault rifle and a M2 carbine gun—were seized, he added.
A combined force of PDF troops from Kanbalu and Taze townships took part in the attack, which was also joined by local People’s Defence Team, or Pa Ka Pha, groups.
The leader of a Pa Ka Pha group told Myanmar Now that the resistance forces didn’t suffer any casualties, despite attempts by other Pyu Saw Htee forces in the area to retaliate.
“After the attack on a Pyu Saw Htee stronghold, we crossed the Mu River. The current was strong, and they fired heavy artillery at us as we retreated,” he said.
According to residents, Pyu Saw Htee groups control at least 40 villages in Kanbalu and adjacent areas of neighbouring Kyunhla Township.
A day after the raids in Sabei Nant Thar and Sein Nar, another Pyu Saw Htee camp in the village of In Koke Kar, located about 8km north of the town of Taze, was also attacked.
According to a spokesperson for the Taze Township PDF, the resistance forces managed to destroy the camp, which was occupied by around 40 soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee, but also lost two of their fighters.
A large number of junta troops were also killed, he added.
In December, a raid on another Pyu Saw Htee camp in Sin Nge, a village about 4km north of Taze, left at least 30 members of the pro-regime militia dead, the Taze PDF claimed.
The Kanbalu PDF officer who spoke to Myanmar Now said that more offensives were planned and urged Pyu Saw Htee members to end their support for the regime.
“They should join hands with the people. Otherwise, they will become our targets,” he said.